By Catherine Wagley
By Channing Sargent
By L.A. Weekly critics
By Amanda Lewis
By Catherine Wagley
By Carol Cheh
By Keegan Hamilton
By Bill Raden
“I don’t wanna show off no more, I don’t wanna strip-tease no more, I don’t wanna show off!”
The slim, perky brunette wiggles her hips and belts lyrics fromThe Drowsy Chaperone for writer-director Christian Voltaire, as he grins and applauds during an April audition at bang Comedy Theatre in L.A’s Fairfax district.
Outside, a gaggle of veteran theater, television and film actors anxiously wait their turn. The role of choice: Roxie Hart? Sally Bowles? No, it’s Nadya Suleman. Yes, it’s come to this: Octomom the Musical, starts on Saturday, July 18, at the Fake Gallery.
The show, with songs by Rachel Lawrence, seeks to cut down characters in American society (Bernie Madoff also puts in an appearance), who are famous for doing appalling things. Current events are incorporated on the fly, and celebrity cameos might be part of any show. Baby dolls will fly across the theater. There will be a “splash zone” in the first two rows, requiring the wearing of plastic, and the audience members will play Suleman’s children.
Auditioning actor Ron Rogge smirked. “She’s the most ridiculous pop icon of the year. My hope is that the swine flu keeps her from having any more kids.”
With its lightning-rod title, the show’s auditions generated several TV news crews, thanks to a casting call posted on ActorsAccess.com, which had Voltaire’s phone ringing within minutes. The exuberant director hams it up, declaring how much he would love to cast Suleman as herself, and inviting unsuspecting Fox 11 News anchor Susan Hirasuna to join the production.
The actors gamely comply with Voltaire’s rapid-fire commands, which include singing a show tune followed by a ballad, impersonating various characters both in and out of gender, interacting with an imaginary store clerk, and doing interpretive dances. And if the famously trademark-attempting Octomom tries to sue him over the show’s title, Voltaire’s not panicked. It’s more likely that Nadya will revel in the publicity. After all, if there’s anything Octomom wants, it’s to show off some more.
Octomom the Musical begins on Sat., July 18, at the Fake Gallery, 4319 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; Saturdays, 8 & 10:30 p.m. www.octomomthemusical.com.